I have a great kid but he has his moments. I read other mommy blogs, like the honest toddler and while some things I can relate to, (the picky eating)…
As a school aged child by and large he’s great. I’ve been around other children at the park, in stores, and he’s nothing like them. The reports from his teachers echo that, great kid, who can get silly at times, a good friend; really sweet. That’s Cody. Sure he gets in trouble, but its minor compared to the all-out rages I’ve seen firsthand from other kids. I can take him to Toys R Us and leave without a meltdown. I can take him shopping and while maybe it isn’t the most enjoyable experience, it isn’t hell. He goes to bed on time, eats dinner, is ready for school, does his homework and generally listens to us. So when he does do something rotten I get blindsided and don’t know how to handle it. Its not like I have a lot of experience, (at this point I’m sure there are parents that want to throw something at me). Usually we take things away or take away Pom poms or time outs, but if the “crime” is really severe what do we do? So this is what went down.
After Cody had a play date his room looked like a bomb went off, so while he was in the shower I thought I would be nice and help him by making his bed. In order to do this I had to put some of his books away and while I was doing that I saw a strangely folded dollar. It looked like origami but part of it was unfolded. Curious I set it aside and waited for him to get out of the shower to ask him about it. When he came out I asked and the answer I received was more devastating than I could have imagined. He looked sheepish, like he knew he did something wrong. “Oh…that…well I saw it on your co-workers desk and liked it so I took it…” I stood there shocked, because now I knew who he had taken it from. Not that taking money is good from anyone.
I honestly thought he borrowed it from a friend, they do that with toys, or I don’t know, never in a million years would I think that he took it from my dear sweet coworker. I had seen it for the past four years, sitting innocently on her desk. Now half unfolded on my child’s bookshelf. I had no idea how to react. I told him I was so disappointed in him and that we don’t steal, ever. And then he went to bed early. I never once raised my voice because honestly I wasn’t mad, I was disappointed. After I told my husband about it, who also was not so much mad as disappointed. Both of us remember stealing something as children, not that it makes it right, but at least him and I could remember that we to had done it and remembered that our parents made us return the items, and that that embarrassment ensured we never do it again I texted my sister and trusted co-worker. Through their help my husband and I devised the punishment. I went back in and told him he had lost his iPad for a week, no play dates for two, loss of poms poms, he had to write a letter of apology and hand the letter and the ruined figure back to my co-worker when she was back in the office. It seemed like a lot and then at the same time, like not enough…He didn’t seem to understand.
I have a tendency to over lecture. I probably should have been a college professor or preacher or something. I stood there for I don’t know how long, trying to explain the severity of what he had done, meanwhile I can see his eyes…slowly losing focus…and who can blame him?
My co-worker suggested that we make an origami figure as a token for her. It won’t ever replace the one he ruined, but perhaps, maybe it will help ease the pain of having this happen. She also suggested that I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I feel like it was my kid…therefore, reflects on me.
Then moment came when I had to tell my coworker what happened, of course she more than understood. It turns out it was nothing, something someone left behind. As usual, I had a made a big deal out of nothing. The lesson remained though, my son I don’t think, I hope, will ever take anything that doesn’t belong to him ever again. I know I have a good kid, even if he does have his moments, even if with his ADHD he can wear me out so that I feel like I fought with a pack of wild hyenas by the end of the night, he is a good kid. When your kid does something like this, your first response may not be the right one, the punishment may be too harsh or not harsh enough, and that is okay, they aren’t the only ones learning how to navigate in this new world you have together. As long as you navigate with love, laughter and a whole lot of understanding, both of your will turn out great!